Design Forward Panel Discussion: Focusing on 2017

UC San Diego’s Design Lab recently teamed up with Axure Software Solutions, Inc. to cosponsor a panel discussion on the value of design as an economic and civic driver. Don Norman, Director of the UC San Diego Design Lab, moderated the panel, which included several highly-accomplished San Diego business, civic and design leaders. The panelists included San Diego City Councilmember Barbara Bry, Chief Creative Officer Victor Nacif, Digital Telepathy Founder Chuck Longanecker and Port of San Diego Director of Enterprise Strategy and Innovation John Bandringa.

The event was hosted by the Design Forward Alliance (DFA), a nonprofit organization recently created to unify and promote the value of professional design and design thinking for better outcomes in business, education and government. The event and panel served as the first in a series of events leading up to Design Forward 2017. While last year’s Design Forward summit was organized by the Design Lab, the DFA will run the next Design Forward on October 26 and 27 in 2017 with plans to help San Diego gain international recognition by becoming the official “Design Capital of the World” by 2022. The World Design Capital (WDC) is a city promotion project by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design to recognize and award accomplishments made by cities around the world in the field of design. Hosting fee for 2018 is listed at about $450,000 USD.

“The Design Forward Alliance was born based on the conversations that started from the Design Lab, Design Forward 2016 and the need to create an advocacy group because of all the different groups that actively participate in design in their own ways,” said Scott Robinson, DFA Board President and Chair. “Whether you’re designing products, services, experiences or brands, all of these things are different forms of design and we think that the Alliance can help unify our message. We’re here as an alliance to advocate on behalf of you… designers.”

In 2016, Design Forward focused on the power of human-centered design and its impact across industry, government and the design community at large. The 2016 event included design luminaries Robert Schwartz, General Manager of Global Design, GE Healthcare; Kurt Walecki, Vice President of Design, Intuit; and Sam Yen, Chief Design Officer, SAP as speakers and distinguished guests. Ahead of the panel discussion, Robinson announced that Design Forward 2017 will also have a brilliant roster of distinguished speakers, but it will also involve a series of design challenges throughout the year, pitting San Diego’s freshest design talent against some of the community’s most practical (and unsolved) design issues.

For more information about this year’s Design Forward event, please visit

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